Author Topic: The Duchess of Roxburghe's $300,000 Diamond Tiara Goes Up for Auction  (Read 458 times)

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Offline snokitty

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Bamber Gascoigne, the hale and reassuringly tweedy 80-year-old former BBC presenter and writer, was motoring along in his retirement from television when he was informed, last year, that his aunt Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, had, upon her death at 99, left him the 50-room mansion called West Horsley Place. With its contents. Although he had spent, as he described it, ‘many pleasant times’ at West Horsley Place, he was surprised that the whole kit had devolved to him.

And what a kit it is. Inheritance is a complex matter in Great Britain, and death duties on the Surrey estate—some 400 acres of prime Home Counties territory—were immense. Gascoigne did the only sensible thing: he decided to preserve the estate by auctioning the contents of the house, with the intent of opening it to the public. The house, 500 years old, hosted the great and the good for many centuries. Among other Shakespearean luminaries, Henry VIII dropped by West Horsley Place for what is rather casually described as ‘a 35-course lunch.’

So, the contents of the manor were, to put it mildly, something else. Gascoigne’s storied aunt and godmother Mary was herself the goddaughter of King George V—the father of Queen Elizabeth—and her family, the Crewe-Milnes, were intertwined with that of the Windsors from the get-go. She married the Duke of Roxburghe when she was 19. A few years after her marriage, as she breakfasted face-to-face with her husband, she was delivered the duke’s divorce request by an attending butler.
“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too”      Voltaire

I can see humor in most things & I would rather laugh than cry.    Snokitty


Offline LouisFerdinand

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